Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Hall in court to answer sex charges

Stuart Hall faces one count of rape and 14 offences of indecent assault

Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall is set to face court charged with historic sex offences.

It is the first time the 83-year-old will appear in crown court facing one count of rape and 14 offences of indecent assault.

He is alleged to have raped a 22-year-old woman in 1976 and the 14 other alleged sex assaults relate to 10 girls aged between nine and 16, between 1967 and 1986.

The hearing on Friday is expected to largely deal with administrative matters for a forthcoming trial.

Hall's case was sent to Preston Crown Court for the hearing after he appeared before magistrates in the city last month.

The former It's A Knockout presenter said he might have considered suicide had it not been for his family, after emerging from Preston Magistrates' Court at the earlier hearing.

Speaking on the court steps to a media scrum of reporters, he described the accusations as "pernicious, callous, cruel and, above all, spurious" and vowed to clear his name and restore his reputation.

Hall, of Prestbury Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was last year awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours.

His eccentric and erudite football match summaries made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Hall has already pleaded not guilty to three separate indecent assault charges dating between 1974 and 1984.

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